Monday 5 March 2018

First Equisense Session

I wasn't sure if I was going to ride on Sunday when I went out to the barn. I expected it to be a bit too chilly. For some reason though, it felt much warmer than the temperature stated. So I brought Phantom in and tacked her up, and broke in my new Equisense.
How much snow did we get this weekend? Enough to bury a hood. A hood that should have been on Cisco's neck.
The first challenge I had was figuring out how to put the sensor holder onto my girth. I use the forward girth-groove type of girths, and I had a really hard time getting the holder to sit in the right spot. I tried it with and without the extenders, and it was either too tight, or too loose. Well, crap.

And then I put the girth on the horse and realized I had it on backwards. Oops.
The right way. Notice the slight curve by the buckle so that the sensor sits nicely behind it. 

It fits much better when it's on the correct way.

On Phantom's Total Saddle Fit Stretchtec girth the sensor didn't sit snug against the girth. I could fit a finger between them. I'm not sure if this will cause problems as it is supposed to be tight. On Cisco's Prolite girth, it was not a problem.

Phantom's girth and tummy.
Here are the readings from our ride:

Our ride was a little under 40 minutes long. We are still on a rehab program, so we did 5 x 2 minute intervals of walk/trot and a wee bit of canter. A big chunk of the 59 transistions we did were trot/halt/trot transitions we did towards the end of the ride (and which she did really well).

Our symmetry score was 6.9. Ugh. 

A couple of things could be going on here. During either the second or third trot set I did a bunch leg yields, in a few steps left/few steps right pattern all around the arena. And there was some shoulder in during one of the later trot sets. Lateral work affects your symmetry score negatively.

The other reason could be because something might be going on with her left front. I keep feeling it at the beginning of my ride, one of those subtle feel-but-can't-see types of things. She seems to work out of it. I'm trying not to be overly paranoid and haul her off to the vet about it. I usually get her hocks injected in May, so if it is still happening at that time I'll get her looked at. 

Low was 6.1, high of 7.7
You can see that her symmetry does get better as the ride progresses. The low point is likely the section where we were doing the leg yields.

Workload - nothing surprising here. I use my Garmin running watch to alert me for intervals, so they're pretty even.

Ok, so I admittedly walked an extra lap to get this score. But in reality it was 49 / 51 before that. My breakdown by gait isn't too bad. Probably a side effect of doing intervals - it's likely a little easier to make sure you spend an equal amount of time on each rein during the intervals.

Stride frequency - this is a number that is individual to each horse, so I'll need a few rides to get baseline numbers before I can make any evaluations.

Regularity - nothing surprising to me here. Phantom tends to be poky at a walk, and then she jogs when I shorten my reins and ask for more walk. I've always had issues keeping her canter rhythmic. Today she was a bit tight in her back, and I was tight in my lower back, so I wasn't sitting well in the place she wasn't giving me.  Her trot has always been her strongest gait (and mine).

Elevation - I think I am pleasantly surprised at the canter number. She's a very level built horse, and does not have an uphill canter. I was expecting it to be lower, not that I have any baseline numbers. 

That is how ride #1 with the Equisense went. Cisco was lunged - I'll post his session tomorrow.


  1. sounds like a solid first analysis with the tool! also i really need to be more diligent about interval type work.... i kinda just go off feel, or will sorta count out movements to myself, but it's easy to get distracted by other things lol

    1. Even with the watch I lose track of how many intervals I've done. It shows it on my watch, but I ride with contact lenses in, and I can't see the tiny number that shows the interval. I just keep going until it tells me to stop.